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UK News North East lockdown: 10pm curfew for bars and pubs and ban on household mixing

17:15  17 september  2020
17:15  17 september  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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New local restrictions are being introduced in northeast England - including a 10pm curfew for bars and pubs and a ban on people mixing with others outside their household.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the measures in a statement to the House of Commons on Thursday morning after the government's talks with North East councils and local MPs.

New lockdown restrictions begin in North East as Lancashire expected to follow

  New lockdown restrictions begin in North East as Lancashire expected to follow People in northeast England will not be able to meet others outside their household from today - as Lancashire is also expected to be placed under tighter restrictions. More than 10 million people across the UK are now in lockdown, after new restrictions in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham began at midnight.Residents in these areas are banned from socialising with others outside their household or bubble, food and drink venues are restricted to table service only and all leisure and entertainment venues must close at 10pm.

They will come into force from Friday in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham.

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The restrictions will include:

  • residents being told not to socialise with people outside their household or social bubble
  • table service only in bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants
  • all bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes and other leisure and entertainment venues to close between 10pm and 5am

In a stark warning, Mr Hancock told MPs: "Like many other countries around the world, we're continuing to see a concerning rise in cases with 3,991 new cases recorded yesterday.

Revellers enjoy one last night before Boris's Covid crackdown

  Revellers enjoy one last night before Boris's Covid crackdown Revellers descended onto the streets of Birmingham to enjoy one last night out tonight before the Government's new 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants came into force.Party-goers, including those who had recently arrived to the city to begin their academic year at university, swapped a night in at home to hit the numerous pubs and bars in the city and celebrate with their friends.

"And this week the number of patients in mechanical ventilator beds has risen above 100 for the first time since July.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock makes a statement on Covid-19 in the House of Commons, London, confirming local lockdown restrictions will be introduced in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images Health Secretary Matt Hancock makes a statement on Covid-19 in the House of Commons, London, confirming local lockdown restrictions will be introduced in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images) "The battle against coronavirus is not over."

The health secretary said there had been "concerning rates of infection" in parts of the North East.

"We agree with the local councils that we must follow the data and act and the data says that we must act now so that we can control the virus and keep people safe," he added.

"And I know that the people of the North East will come together to beat this virus, as defeat it we must."

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Mr Hancock also used his Commons statement to announce the government is giving a further £2.7bn to the NHS ahead of this winter.

The will help hospitals operate "safely in a world in which COVID-19 is still at large" as they work through a backlog of operations delayed by the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, the health secretary told MPs.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JULY 04: People sit at a table and have a drink on the first day of pubs reopening at the Job Bulman pub in Gosforth on July 04, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The UK Government announced that Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants can open from Saturday, July 4th providing they follow guidelines on social distancing and sanitising. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JULY 04: People sit at a table and have a drink on the first day of pubs reopening at the Job Bulman pub in Gosforth on July 04, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The UK Government announced that Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants can open from Saturday, July 4th providing they follow guidelines on social distancing and sanitising. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images) The government will also continue invest in making accident and emergency departments bigger so they "have the space to continue treating patients safely in the coming months", Mr Hancock said.

Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth accused the government of having "failed" to deliver an effective test and trace programme as millions more people prepared to live under localised restrictions in the UK.

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"The British people made great sacrifices, they missed family celebrations, they couldn't say their final goodbyes to loved ones at funerals but the British people honoured their side of the bargain," he said.

"In return, the government was supposed to deliver effective testing and tracing.

"The government failed and we have vast swathes of the country under restrictions."

Gallery: Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak around the world (Photo Services)

Mr Hancock insisted testing capacity was at "record levels" but admitted there was a "challenge" being presented by demand for tests rising faster.

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, earlier said his council had asked the government for "additional temporary restrictions" after becoming "very concerned about the exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across the North East".

"Our evidence from contact tracing tells us it's happening broadly in three main areas; in bars and pubs, in people's homes, and in grassroots sports," he told Sky News presenter Kay Burley.

"So what we've done is try to get ahead of the curve and ask government for some additional temporary restrictions so that we can get on top of the virus in all of those areas."

Explaining the reason for a 10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants, Mr Forbes said: "One of the challenges has been groups of people meeting up in our towns and city centres very late at night and after a few drinks that means social distancing goes out the window.

"So we want to ensure that isn't another opportunity for the virus to keep spreading."

Mr Forbes added that Newcastle City Council had asked for an exemption on informal childcare arrangements with extended family members.

According to Sky News data, the two-week coronavirus infection rate per 100,000 in the seven local authority areas facing new restrictions are:

  • Sunderland: 155.7
  • South Tyneside: 155.1
  • Gateshead: 139.7
  • Newcastle 116.3
  • North Tyneside: 85
  • County Durham: 70.2
  • Northumberland: 47.1

Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham, criticised the government's "farcical" handling of rising infection rates in northeast England as he branded the testing programme in the region a "shambles".

Earlier on Thursday morning, health minister Edward Argar told Sky News that the North East was seeing a spike in cases similar to that in northwest England.

He said: "In the North East we are seeing a spike in infections. It is exactly what we have seen in the North West.

"We monitor that rate. Where we need to, we step in and take action."

Mr Argar said, in northwest England, the rise in infections was due to people not adhering to social distancing rules with different households meeting up in close proximity.

He added: "Obviously a night-time economy can fuel that when people have been to the pub, people have been out late into the evening.

"That's one of the ways in which that transmission can increase."

Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.


Video: Coronavirus: why Birmingham could face further restrictions (Birmingham Mail)

Pub-goers head home across England as 10pm curfew begins .
The new rules, which also ban customers in England from ordering from the bar, come as the government aims to avoid a second national lockdown in the face of rising infection figures. Pictured, students enjoying a night out in Preston Who is going to pay for Rishi's £5BILLION giveaway? Chancellor hints at tax rises down the track as he reveals workers will get 80 PER CENT of salaries for one third of their hours in new £300 MILLION a month scheme - but warns he 'cannot save every job' Rishi Sunak today hinted tax rises will be necessary to pay for the coronavirus crisis after he unveiled a new package of measures

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